By Bianca Mendez
As an editor, a good chunk of your inbox is probably overflowing from PR requests—asking to schedule desksides, attend events, or pitching products/story ideas. While all the emails seem overwhelming, just remember, they’re trying to do their job. And like the life of an editor, a publicist’s job poses its own challenges. Here’s what publicists want you to know.
Their jobs aren’t as glamorous as you think.
Between events, press trips, and all that free swag, working in PR sounds like a dream. But in the same way people find your job as an editor as living the luxe life, a publicist’s job is no different. “Personally I rep almost a dozen beauty brands and it’s my job to still manage each brand’s workload on top of any events we have in the making,” says Erica Nardella, Junior Account Executive at Creative Media Marketing. “The work clock never stops and when things have to be done they get done at whatever time it has to be accomplished.”
They’d like you to respond to emails, even if you’re not interested in their pitch
Yes, all those PR emails can get overwhelming, publicists totally understand that. But they would still appreciate a response from your end, especially if you’re currently working with them. “Sometimes we get overwhelmed and inundated with emails (it happens to me all the time), but there is nothing worse than we you have to go into stalker mode to get an answer on something you were working on,” says Teona Ostrov President of Teona Ostrov Public Relations.
And if you’re inbox is flooded with pitches that don’t fit your publication, provide some feedback to the publicist. “If a pitch isn’t right for them, perhaps they can say why it’s not something [their publication would] cover,” says Lindsey Cohen, account director at Hunt & Gather. “A bit more direction on editor preferences and guidelines can make for a better working relationship.” Remember, they’re on your side and what to help you create the best content possible.
They strongly believe in RSVPing
“I believe most editors know how much blood, sweat and—yes—tears goes into planning a media event,” says Nardella. “We try to have an event for a newsworthy purpose, therefore we don’t like to waste our client’s money or editor’s time.” In other words, please RSVP whether or not you can attend and event. “Clients have the RSVP list and will sit there bugging me about the ETA of an editor over and over again,” says Ostrov. “So if you can’t make it, just shoot me a text or email because I would rather just inform the client right away.”
Desksides are a great, casual way to for an editor to get some one-on-one time with a client and hear about a new product launch says Cohen. “It should be a forum for the client to talk about his or her brand to the editor, and for the editor to ask as many questions as possible to ensure an understanding of the client and brand.” So please, take some time to know the client before your meeting to ensure a good conversation. Publicists will usually send over their press information beforehand. Also, good etiquette is a must: Be sure your phone is to the side and be as engaging as possible.
They see themselves as journalists too
Editors and publicists are in the job for one thing only: to tell an amazing story. “Like a journalist, a publicist crafts a narrative and decides how best to spread the word,” says Cohen. And it’s always great to have a go-to publicist you can count on help you meet deadlines or find an amazing expert to use in your story. “In a good relationship, an editor is just as important to a publicist as a publicist is to an editor,” adds Cohen. “Both provide access the other might not otherwise have.”
Bianca Mendez is a writer and editor who has contributed to Refinery29, TeenVogue.com, Bustle, and other publications. Her perfect day in NYC consists of trying the latest fitness class followed by a night of wining and dining. Check out more of her work at biancammendez.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.